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GPLv3 to reinforce FSF open-source license position?

Beats older competition

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Adoption of GPLv3 has surpassed many older licenses in a short time, according to license watcher Black Duck Software.

GPLv3 is now the fifth most chosen license in the open-source community, used in 6,300 projects, and is expected to snatch the number four-slot from BSD in "a year or two" Black Duck said

The move past BSD would represent a doubling of GPLv3's use. BSD is employed in 6.51 per cent of projects compared to GPLv3 in 3.98 per cent. The numbers are based on Black Duck's repository of 170,000 open-source projects from nearly 4,000 sites.

GPLv3 has so-far surpassed the Common Public License, Mozilla Public License, MIT, and Apache licenses in the year and a half since launch. These licenses date back to 1998 in the case of MIT to 2004 with Apache.

Black Duck released the figures saying it's a myth that GPLv3, released in June 2007, is being ignored. GPLv3's growth is consistent with the fact that other GPL licenses offered by the Free Software Foundation (FSF) cover most open-source code: around 70 per cent of all open source projects use a variation of GPL, Black Duck said. The GPL 2.0 and LGPL 2.0 are used in 55 and 10 per cent of projects respectively.

Among other myths busted by Black Duck is the claim that "real programmers do not comment". Open-source developers add one comment line for every four lines of code, with Java being the most commented language. Java has one comment line for every two lines of code. Also, a quarter of all the billions of lines of downloadable open-source code were released or renewed this year, with 90 per cent written in the "major" languages - C, C++, JavaScript and C#. ®

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